Following up from my post on “Robert Capa: The definitive Collection”, this is the second in the series of glance’s through the photography books I currently have in my possession. On this occasion we have the; The Best Of Life.
Life magazine is probably one of the most famous magazine’s for photojournalism, during it’s print from 1936 to 2000 as a weekly (it originally began in 1883 before being bought by Time Inc and shifting towards it’s famous format) it featured literally hundreds of thousands of the most famous images in photography of the 20th Century. If you can think of a photograph that you have seen that would come under the titles of “defining” or “of great historical significance” it is highly likely it was first published in Life.
This book was given to me by my father when we were clearing out his house prior to it being sold, I’d had no idea this had been hidden away in the loft because if I had I would’ve pinched it years ago. The book itself is a hardback volume of 300 or so pages of original images, many obviously widely available online, many full page and probably all stunning. Split into categories such as; The Leaders, which has as it’s first image that of Stalin, Churchill and FDR meeting at Yalta. Into Space; which graces us with photo’s of the Space Race. And The Land with fantastic images of the world we inhabit.
The copy I have was originally published in 1980 and is long out of print, but if by some mad chance you ever stumble across a copy in a bargain store or second hand bookshop I’d grab it with both hands and not let go. It was a fantastic surprise.
For more information of the history of Life Magazine this is a link to the Wikipedia page.